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Michael Monheit
Michael Monheit
Attorney • (215) 840-6573

What exactly is a transvaginal mesh implant?

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What exactly is a transvaginal mesh implant? A transvaginal mesh implant is considered a medical device. The device is made from surgical mesh which is either porous synthetic material or biologic material, and is generally used to repair weakened or damaged tissue caused by stress urinary incontinence or pelvic organ prolapse.

Approximately 50% of women can experience some type of prolapse but only a few percent will need surgical treatment. Mesh can also be used to elevate the neck of the bladder to treat urinary incontinence which occurs when women laugh, sneeze, jump, or cough.


The problem with this type of medical device or most medical devices is the lack of FDA oversight for safety. Once the transvaginal mesh is implanted, it is most difficult to impossible to remove because it becomes permeated into surrounding tissues.

According to 2011 FDA report, the most common problems reported when transvaginal mesh was used for repair of prolapse were:

  • Erosion or protrusion of the mesh from the soft tissues
  • Pain, including pain with intercourse
  • Infections in the area of the mesh
  • Urinary tract problems
  • Bleeding from the mesh site
  • Damage to nearby organs